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The Ibāḍī (Arabic: Al-Ibādhiyyah الاباضية) is a denomination of Islam that is the dominant form in only one country, Oman. There are other Ibāḍī in Algeria and Libya.[1] The Ibāḍī probably started one of the earliest schools, which was founded less than 50 years after the death of Muhammad.

The name comes from Abdullah ibn Ibadh at-Tamini. Some of the branch's followers, however, claim that its true founder was Jabir ibn Zaid al-'Azdi, who was from Nizwa, Oman.

Differences from other types of Islam[change | change source]

Ibāḍī communities are generally seen as conservative. They reject the practice of qunūt in which one asks Allah for things while one stands in prayer. Sunni Muslims traditionally consider the Ibāḍī to be an extremist Kharijite group because they came from that group. However, most Ibāḍī now believe that other Muslims are not kuffar "unbelievers", unlike most Kharijite groups, but kuffar an-nima "unbelievers in God's grace." Most Ibāḍī now believe a true believer's attitude to others to be expressed in three religious obligations:

  • walāyah: being friendly and united with practicing true believers and the Ibāḍī imans.
  • barā'ah: refusing to deal with unbelievers and sinners and showing a certain hostility towards them and those destined for Hell.
  • wuqūf: being reserved towards those whose status is unclear.

Unlike the Kharijites, the Ibāḍī have abandoned the assassination of mainstream Muslims.[2]

The Ibāḍī agree with Sunnis in approving of Caliphs Abū Bakr and Umar ibn al-Khattab, and both groups regarded them as rightly-guided caliphs. However, the Ibāḍī think that Uthman ibn Affan introduced bid'ah "innovations" to Islam and so approve of the revolt that overthrew him.

The Ibāḍī also approve of the first part of Ali's caliphate. Like the Shi'ites, the Ibāḍī disapprove of both Aisha's rebellion against him and Muawiya's revolt. However, the Ibāḍī regard Ali's acceptance of arbitration at the Battle of Siffin against Muawiyya's rebels as un-Islamic. The Ibāḍī consider that Al's decision made him unfit as iman, and they condemn Ali also for killing early Kharijites in an-Nahr at the Battle of Nahrawan.

The Ibāḍī also have several doctrinal differences from other types of Islam:

  • The Ibāḍī believe that Muslims will not see Allah on the Day of Judgement. That is derived from the Qur'an, which says Ibrahim/Abraham is told upon asking to see Allah, "You shall not see me. That is contrary to the mainstream Sunni belief that indeed, Muslims will see Allah with their eyes on the day of Judgment in a way and a manner that Allah knows best.[3] That matches the beliefs of Shia Muslims: Imam Ali (AS) "Eyes can not see Him, but he can be seen by the realities of FAITH" Nahj al-Balaghah.
  • The Ibāḍī believe that whoever enter Hell will be there forever. That is contrary to the Sunni belief that Muslims who enter Hell will live there for a fixed amount of time to purify them of their shortcomings, and they will then enter Paradise. Sunnis also believe that unbelievers will remain in Hell forever.
  • The Ibāḍī believe that the Qur'an is created. The Sunnis hold vigorously that the Qur'an is uncreated, as exemplified by the suffering of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal. Many Shi'ites also hold that the Qur'an is created, which is one of many theological beliefs that they share with the Mu'tazilah of Iraq.
  • The Ibāḍī do not see the Sunni hadiths Kutub al-Sittah (or the Shia hadiths) as canonical but rely more on individual interpretations.

The Ibāḍī believe that the fifth legitimate caliph was Abdullah ibn Wahb al-Rasibi. All caliphs from Muˤāwiyya onwards are regarded as tyrants except Umar ibn Abdul Aziz on whom opinions differ. However, various later Ibāḍī leaders are recognized as true imāms, including Abdullah ibn Yahya al-Kindi of South Arabia and the imāms of the Rustamid dynasty in North Africa.

The Ibāḍī are also found in Jabal Nafusa in Libya, Mzab in Algeria, East Africa (particularly Zanzibar), and Djerba Island in Tunisia. The early medieval Rustamid dynasty in Algeria was Ibāḍī, and refugees from its capital, Tahert, founded the North African Ibāḍī communities, which still exist.

References[change | change source]

  1. Valerie J. Hoffman. "Ibadi Islam: an Introduction".
  2. Mortimer, Edward, Faith and Power, Vintage (1982), p.42
  3. Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari. "Seeing Allah in dreams, waking, and the afterlife". Archived from the original on 2012-02-18. Retrieved 2008-02-05.

Other websites[change | change source]